Fatal Incident


Inspired by a true story of an Air Transport Command (ATC) aircraft disaster in Alaska in 1944, Fatal Incident reveals the dark secrets of a WW II conspiracy of how twenty U.S. military deaths have gone unsolved for over 66 years. Why this routine flight crashed and what happened before, during and after the crash is unknown. The Army files have been lost and requests under the Freedom of Information Act have yielded nothing. The pilot was my uncle, Captain Roy Proebstle.

What is known about this tragic accident is that it took place at 11,000 feet in about the most inaccessible and inhospitable place in Alaska—an uncharted section of the McKinley Range, now known as Mt. Deception. All were presumed dead. At the wreck site, no physical evidence of human remains were found; no blood pools, no body parts, no flesh fragments—only one drop of blood. The crash scene, itself, included sections of the mangled plane, an open bottle of whiskey and playing cards, as if someone had recently abandoned a game. Serious efforts at excavation yielded nothing new.

Historical Fiction Finalist
Fatal Incident
by Jim Proebstle
Emerald Book Company


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Praise for Fatal Incident

Jim Proebstle has written a unique and compelling story, a true event cloaked in the fabric of fiction. Though much of Fatal Incident is speculative, every consideration is grounded in rock-solid fact. This narrative works on so many levels that it doesn’t matter whether or not you accept Proebstle’s conclusions concerning the mystery at the heart of the story. Either way, you’ll enjoy a hell of a good read.

—William Kent Krueger
New York Times bestselling author of the Cork O’Connor series

Brimming with intrigue, espionage, and romance, Fatal Incident is a captivating story of determination and grit set against the backdrop of WWII. In this historical novel, author Jim Proebstle leaves the reader questioning the cause of a fatal C-47 airplane crash in Alaska that occurred during the closing years of the war. What really happened? Was there a colossal cover-up by the US government involving the true facts surrounding the disaster and the ensuing rescue and recovery effort? This tale of alternate history will leave you speculating as to what actually did take place on that fateful day in September of 1944.

Proebstle does a formidable job developing his characters while constructing a chillingly believable story peppered with brilliantly unexpected twists and turns!

—Marilyn Jax
Award-winning author of The Find and Road to Omalos

Fatal Incident is a heart-pounding tale of espionage, suspense, love, geopolitics and heroism capturing a Soviet Union attempt to steal United States secrets of the atomic bomb. I recommend this book to everyone interested in World War II mysteries. Proebstle offers an exciting and credible scenario in this historical novel based on the true-life events that led to the unexplained military casualties of a C-47 transport crash in the starkness of Alaska’s Mt. McKinley Range.

—Bob Bao
Author and editor of the MSU Alumni Magazine

Listen to a WGN Radio Interview with Jim Proebstle on The Sunday Papers Show hosted by Rick Kogan.

Listen to an interview with Jim Proebstle on Fascinating Authors, hosted by Penny C. Sansevieri.